Faculty – Susan Helper

Susan Helper - Professor, Economics
Frank Tracy Carlton Professor of Economics
Professor, Economics

Peter B. Lewis Building 272
Office Hours: By Appointment Only

When suppliers and customers or management and labor collaborate, how does it shape the economy? That’s the research topic of Susan Helper. Currently she is looking at how global supply chains affect regional development and innovation in the U.S., Mexico, and India. She is also examining a paradox in regional economic development. While the world is becoming more “flat” with goods and money flowing ever more quickly around the globe, local “clusters" of production in places such as Silicon Valley remain important. Helper’s research suggests that promoting networks within and between firms can lead to a highly productive economy, while maintaining community.

Personal Website

PhD, Harvard University, 1987
BA, Oberlin College, 1979

Initially Appointed: 1990

Interests and Courses

Recent Courses and Syllabi

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Selected Publications

  • Helper, S., Sako, M. (2010).
    Management Innovation in the Supply Chain: Appreciating Chandler in the 21st Century Industrial and Corporate Change: Industrial and Corporate Change.
  • Helper, S. (2010).
    Strengthening American Manufacturing: A New Federal Approach (pp. 15). Washington, DC: Brookings.
  • Helper, S., , K. M. (2009).
    International Differences in Lean Production, Productivity and Employee Attitudes National Bureau of Economic Research.
  • Helper, S., , M. J. (2009).
    Can Price Hikes Save GM The Daily Beast.
  • Helper, S. (2009).
    Should We Still Make Things? Dissent.
  • Helper, S., MacDuffie, J. P. (2008).
    Better than a Bailout The New Republic.
  • Helper, S. (2008).
    Renewing US Manufacturing: A High-Road Strategy Washington, DC: Economic Policy Institute.
  • Helper, S., , .
    “Management Practices, Relational Contracts, and the Fall of General Motors,”
  • Helper, S.
    Why Manufacturing? Which Manufacturing? Brookings.
  • Helper, S.
    Strategies for Job Creation and Retention in Manufacturing
  • Helper, S., , S. M.
    Management Innovation in the Supply Chain: Appreciating Chandler in the 21st Century Industrial and Corporate Change.


  • Helper, S. Agenda for Shared Prosperity, "Renewing US Manufacturing: A High-Road Strategy", Economic Policy Institute, Washington, DC. (2008).

Academic and Professional Activities

  • Committee Member, National Academy of Sciences Panel on Manufacturing, Washington DC, 2011 - Present
  • Editorial Review Board Member, Strategic Management Journal, 2008 - Present


  • Women of Achievement Award, Flora Stone Mather Center for Women, CWRU. (2009).